Saturday, May 2, 2009
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Be your own art expert. Two paintings posted side by side, one – the original, the second is a copy (the “Doria version”, some do suggest that Caravaggio himself had copied his own work):
“…here’s the boy’s gaze caught the viewer directly, mockingly, whereas the eyes of the Doria boy seemed slightly averted, the smile distinctly less open…”
…he (Caravaggio) had been resurrected from obscurity, in large part by Roberto Longhi, who had written in 1941 that Caravaggio was “one of the least known painters if Italian art”. His eclipse occurred with astonishing rapidity. Caravaggio’s realism had initially attracted many followers – the Caravaggisti.
…By the end of the XVII century, he was regarded as a minor painter of low repute. The years passed and few connoseurs bothered to take a note of him. One who did , the nineteenth-century English critic John Raskin, wrote in disgust that “Caravaggio fed “upon horror and ugliness, and filthiness of sin.”
When Longhi put together his Caravaggio exhibition in Milan in 1951, many of the visitors, art historians among them, knew little or nothing about the artist. His paintings had long been consigned to the back rooms and storage bins of galleries and museums…
Regarding this painting, St. John, most art historians thought Caravaggio had stolen the pose from Michelangelo, from a nude in the Sistine Chapel.
(from the book by Jonathan Harr, “The Lost Painting”)